Board Structure Strategy
A project for National Young Farmers Coalition
May 2, 2013
Pro Bono Time
The National Young Farmers' Coalition represents, mobilizes, and engages young farmers to help them succeed. At present, the organization has a board of farmers and farmer service providers. We are interested to work with a professional to diversify our board, while keeping our farmer leadership structure.
A board member search strategy helps an organization build a strong board of directors that is committed to furthering the organization's mission. The right board members substantively contribute time, knowledge, talent and resources, as well as provide informed directives to an organization's staff. This project helps an organization understand its needs, develop an ideal board structure, and identify the types of skills, expertise, and characteristics of potential board members.
A document outlining a board structure strategy that may include:
- A description of an ideal board structure and the ideal roles to be filled
- A guide that maps board roles to strategic goals
- A board candidate evaluation guide
- A template for outreach to each role defined
The professional conducts up to eight interviews with the organization's key stakeholders including board members and management team.
The professional uses this information to develop a guide that maps board roles to strategic goals, outlines an ideal but realistic board composition, and catalogs the current skills and competencies of existing board members.
The professional reviews this initial strategy with the Executive Director and collects feedback.
The professional uses this information to refine the analysis of the current board structure and develops a candidate evaluation guide to help the organization assess potential candidates.
The professional and Executive Director go through two rounds of edits to the candidate evaluation guide.
The professional and Executive Director identify a strategy to reach these individuals. The professional develops a template for outreach to each role defined.
The professional reviews the template with Executive Director and makes necessary edits.
The professional and Executive Director conduct a wrap-up meeting. The professional addresses any questions the Executive Director has regarding the board member search strategy.
- At least 2 years experience in business development, human resources, organizational management
- Experience in prospect identification and recruitment
- Clearly articulated strategic priorities and organizational goals
- A vision for the Board that goes beyond fundraising
- An Executive Director and Board of Directors (if a Board exists) who are strongly committed to this project
- Capacity to further research, cultivate, and steward prospects
- Staff who can invest the necessary time to make the project successful